Elle's Shines

 

An enthusiastic 3.5 stars for this Miramar newbie...

Elle's restaurant
Elle's Restaurant in Miramar.Chef Luci Rosende with 3 entrees.Braised Pork Belly, Thai Mussels and Whole fried snapper.
 

Rochelle Koff

Sleek, sophisticated Elle's has the kind of urban setting you'd expect to find on Las Olas Boulevard or Lincoln Road. But this dynamic new dining destination is a bright spot in the 'burbs, bringing its hip vibe to a Miramar plaza. While the food and service are of fine dining caliber, the kids will feel welcome, too. Owners Damian and Elizabeth Davila and chef Luci Rosende and her husband Enrique ran L&L Market Bistro in Miramar for four years before moving to this new space in May. Along with 120-seat Elle's, they've opened Market-To-Go next door, offering gourmet items and a thoughtful, international wine and beer selection.

One of the many reasons to rave about Elle's: No big wine markups. You pay the same price in the restaurant as you would in their market (most bottles are $18-$25). Even more reason to rave: chef Luci Rosende's creative cuisine, influenced by regional Latin, Asian and Caribbean flavors. Rosende worked behind the scene for years. A mother of three, she was a culinary specialist for Burdines and Macy's, organizing chef demonstrations, and she also developed recipes (among other jobs) for Gardner's Markets in Miami-Dade. With a trend toward smaller portions, Elle's menu is divided into several categories: Bar Bites (snacks, cheese and meat boards, burgers) plus small, medium and large plates.

Ambience: Elle's is decorated with colorful Haitian paintings on stark white walls, casually elegant with an illuminated onyx bar, dark furniture and chic artistic chandeliers made from reclaimed aluminum.

What Worked

  • A crunchy, lightly toasted Marcona Spanish almond tucked into the center of three dates wrapped in crisp bacon and served on an endive spear with a dab of Stilton and a drizzle of Tupelo honey
  • Paella croquetta (inspired by Italy's fried rice balls) are shaped like typical Latin croquettes but you'll bite into risotto with a trace of saffron, chopped shrimp and chorizo
  • A bold Spanish romesco sauce,with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and garlic
  • Juicy, nicely seared miso-glazed scallops topped with cellophane noodles, chopped green onions, red pepper and a dusting of panko
  • Ultra tender and juicy braised pork belly, plated with a fresh, ginger-scented Fuji apple chutney and a summery slaw of Granny Smith apples tweaked with a little fennel
  • A roasted poblano pepper stuffed with cheddar cheese grits, fresh corn relish and beer-battered shrimp.
  • Homemade gnudis - ricotta dumplings served with earthy shiitake mushrooms and sautéed spinach drizzled with brown butter
  • Thai mussels spiced with lemongrass and sliced jalapeños and served in a coconut milk broth with jasmine rice
  • A light, crisp masterfully presented whole snapper (available Wednesday to Saturday) heady spices of garlic, ginger and lemongrass and served with Jasmine rice, stir-fried bok choy and a sprinkling of micro greens
  • Homemade banana bread pudding with Rosende's brown sugar cinnamon ice cream
  • Decadent pecan-chocolate torte

 

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